Extremism is based in fear. Whether it be religious or political. Fear of loss of identity. Fear of loss of control. Fear of the future. Fear is a liar.
Today, political ideology, Left and Right, is fear based on the premise that if we lose our identity or control, the future will not turn out the way we hope. Such as it is, it is a fear response.
But what hope are we holding on to? Who are we trusting for the future?
Fear starts all wars and is the cause of all human suffering. Fear is irrational, as is extremism, as is most ideology today. Fear makes decisions based on emotion instead of reasoned and rational thought. Fear causes us to react negatively to the little that we see and know.
What is fear?
False - untruth, lies, and distortions of fact
Expectations - what we believe will happen
Appearing - what we think we see and know
Real - actually existing
Humankind has been trapped by fear since the beginning.
In the very first recorded conversation between God and Adam, we see fear. Adam says, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Genesis 3:10). Adam had believed a lie, his understanding was very limited, he was responding to what he saw - his nakedness - so he reacted irrationally - hiding himself.
What if Adam had said, "I know I messed up, please forgive me?" But Adam's fear of God drove him from the Garden, from intimate relationship with his Creator. Adam's fear kept him from trusting in the goodness of God, the forgiveness of God, the grace of God and the sovereignty of God.
Fear is a snare that traps us from experiencing God's best - true freedom.
But we are not to be trapped by fear. Rather we are to be compelled by love. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)
God's commands are designed to overcome fear so that we can live in the light of his truth and love freely. In Christ, we are being made perfect in love. Anything other than a response of love is falling short of God's glorious standard. FEAR is sin, since we are to have the mind of Christ, who is without fear.
As we approach the day, we must embrace the fact that "God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7).
What might we accomplish in his power, by his love, following Christ's example - today? We have the freedom in Christ to find out.